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Re: Spooky at faster gaits

Hi Lynette~

In a message dated 98-05-26 20:07:29 EDT, you write:

> At the walk he just looks at scary things, but at the trot he jumps
>  sideways. At the canter he will spook sideways hard and switch leads in
>  almost unseating me every time. Sometimes he will actually stop and I end
>  on his neck.

This sounds like my half arab too.  Except he has been adding an extra twist
to his antics.  At the tail end of the canter spook he crow hops :-0   !!!
When we were both younger I didn't make a big deal about this.  But at 50 I
don't think this is a cute as I used to. 

I have been carrying a crop with me for the last few months to wack him when
he starts into the crow hop stuff.  Just so we both understand that this is
not appropriate behavior for a dignified horse of 15.

You said that  he is better after 45 minutes.  That's good and expected.  The
only advise I could give you is to expose him to a much a possible.  The more
he sees & experiences the less likely he is to spook  the next time.  Use
every spook as a training session.  When he spooks let him go back and
investigate.  Make sure he understands that the spookie thing really wasn't
that bad.  Then turn around, go back up the trail and trot or canter past the
spookie thing again.  Hopefully, he won't spook the next time.  Repeat this
until he can go by the spookie area without spooking.  Then do it one more
time for good measure.  

It sounds slow, boring, etc but it will pay off in the long run.  Good horse
training is usually slow and unexciting.  I have bored many a riding partner
by schooling at a spookie object.

But your most important riding partner (your horse) will thank you for the
time that you took with him to explain the scarie stuff to him.

One more thing (and don't laugh) there is some stuff called "saddle-tight" or
something like that.  It comes in a container that looks like stick deodorant.
You rub it on your saddle and it's as good as a suede seat or a pair of chaps.
Good stickie feel.  It will wear off in about an hour, but hopefully you are
past the critical point then.

Happy Trails,

Nora & Tucker
Ocoee, FL

P.S.  Good luck on the CTR !!    Let us know how it went.

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